Liverpool are facing major transfer disappointment with a reported €40m deal for Khephren Thuram looking increasingly difficult to pull off this summer.
The Merseysiders are looking to rebuild their midfield this summer after a difficult 2022/23 campaign. The engine room has, in the past, proved one of Liverpool’s strong suits. However, all too frequently last season, Jurgen Klopp saw his players out-thought and outfought in that department. Home defeats to Leeds, and a stinging 3-0 loss at Brighton perhaps serving as the best evidence.
As a result, Klopp is determined to rebuild his midfield this summer. And with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner all departing, Liverpool have a number of spaces to fill. To that end, Klopp is reportedly keen to make three additions to his engine room this summer.
Thankfully for the Merseysiders, signing number one was wrapped up in double-quick fashion with Alexis Mac Allister signing on the dotted line from Brighton. He has signed a deal to 2028, costing the Reds an initial £35m.
However, their chances of adding to that signing appear less straightforward. And with several targets on their radar, Klopp and Co appear to have locked their focus on Nice star Thuram.
Indeed, reports had claimed the midfielder had already agreed personal terms with Liverpool and was keen to make the move to Merseyside.
Furthermore, with Nice reportedly seeking €40m, it was felt a second signing of the summer was closing in.
However, reports in France reveal a significant shift in mindset at Nice.
Nice change mind over Liverpool target Khephren Thuram
And according to information obtained by SportsZone, Nice are making it clear they plan to keep Thuram for another season.
Indeed, the two clubs are reported to have already held talks over the potential deal. And it seems, Liverpool did not get the response they were looking for from Nice over the prospective deal.
To that end, the Ligue 1 outfit have communicated to Liverpool that they plan to retain the France international’s services.
Furthermore, only a seriously strong offer from the Reds – and one they would find impossible to refuse – will make Nice consider the 22-year-old’s sale. As a result, Liverpool are reportedly now considering a possible increased offer.
However, Nice’s stance makes it increasingly difficult for Liverpool to come to any sort of arrangement over the deal.
As a compromise, Nice are now reportedly likely to tell Liverpool a summer 2024 transfer is more favourable.
To further complicate the issue, Nice’s owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, remains embroiled in a bid to take over at Manchester United.
Should the deal to buy United go through, there remains an increased possibility that Thuram could be sold. Per reports, Ratcliffe and INEOS plan to use the funds generated by Thuram’s sale to boost United’s kitty.
However, the dynamics of the situation means any sale of United is unlikely to go through in time to affect this summer’s window.
Nice stance unlikely to change
To that end, Nice are seemingly adamant in their determination to hold on to the 22-year-old’s services.
And while the Thuram transfer is not dead and buried for Liverpool, it may now need both a seriously improved bid, together with the player trying to force the issue, to secure him his move to Merseyside.
Thuram is currently on European Under-21 Championship duty with France. And the player has made it clear that all discussions on his future are to be placed on hold while his nation remain involved.